First Day of the Fast of Heesnag
 Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God, and Timothy our brother,
 To the saints and faithful brethren in Christ at Colos’sae:
Grace to you and peace from God our Father.
 We always thank God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, when we pray for you,
 because we have heard of your faith in Christ Jesus and of the love which you have for all the saints,
 because of the hope laid up for you in heaven. Of this you have heard before in the word of the truth, the gospel
 which has come to you, as indeed in the whole world it is bearing fruit and growing — so among yourselves, from the day you heard and understood the grace of God in truth,
 as you learned it from Ep’aphras our beloved fellow servant. He is a faithful minister of Christ on our behalf
 and has made known to us your love in the Spirit.
 And so, from the day we heard of it, we have not ceased to pray for you, asking that you may be filled with the knowledge of his will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding,
 to lead a life worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to him, bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God.
 May you be strengthened with all power, according to his glorious might, for all endurance and patience with joy,
 Now he was casting out a demon that was dumb; when the demon had gone out, the dumb man spoke, and the people marveled.
 But some of them said, “He casts out demons by Be-el’zebul, the prince of demons”;
 while others, to test him, sought from him a sign from heaven.
 But he, knowing their thoughts, said to them, “Every kingdom divided against itself is laid waste, and a divided household falls.
 And if Satan also is divided against himself, how will his kingdom stand? For you say that I cast out demons by Be-el’zebul.
 And if I cast out demons by Be-el’zebul, by whom do your sons cast them out? Therefore they shall be your judges.
 But if it is by the finger of God that I cast out demons, then the kingdom of God has come upon you.
 When a strong man, fully armed, guards his own palace, his goods are in peace;
 but when one stronger than he assails him and overcomes him, he takes away his armor in which he trusted, and divides his spoil.
 He who is not with me is against me, and he who does not gather with me scatters.
The Revised Standard Version of the Bible is copyright © National Council of Churches of Christ in America